Internationally acclaimed Homer garden designer, Brenda Adams, has just published her second book on the subject of gardening in northern latitudes. The new book from the University of Alaska Press, “Cool Plants for Cold Climates: A Garden Designer’s Perspective,” has already received high praise from garden experts worldwide.
Adams’ first book, “There’s a Moose in My Garden: Designing Gardens in Alaska and the Far North,” carried readers through the complete process of designing and implementing gardens in cold climates. Her new book reaches into her long experience in creating gardens in higher latitudes, giving readers an exhaustive list of the best plant selections for use in their gardens.
Beginning with the premise that a cold climate is no excuse for a dull, colorless garden, Adams shows the key to success is in knowing the right plants that will survive and thrive in even the chilliest environments. Adams has spent decades searching for exceptional plants that flourish in wintery climates. “In Cool Plants for Cold Climates,” she presents vivid and detailed portraits of the best and most beautiful of the bunch.
When Adams moved from the warm Southwest to Alaska, she found herself in a different gardening world, with few guides on how to approach this new ecosystem. Now, more than 25 years later, she shares the secrets gained from her years of gardening experiments as well as bountiful advice from friends and local nurseries.
She explains how to evaluate a plant, balancing its artistic attributes with its more utilitarian ones, as well as how to evaluate space and soil. Adams then takes readers into the nursery, offering guidance on how to pick the best of the best.
Finally, she offers a detailed look at a wide variety of wonderful plants, highlighting those that offer overall beauty, are especially easy to care for, and solidly hardy. With more than 300 photographs of both individual plants and full gardens, Adams shows there is a bounty of plants, in a rainbow of colors, waiting to brighten up gardening spaces.
What the experts are saying: “‘Cool Plants for Cold Climates’ is so much more than a plant encyclopedia — it is the sum of the knowledge and wisdom (and wit) of a gardener who loves plants and refuses to be constrained by a short growing season,” wrote Richard Hawke, plant evaluation manager of the Chicago Botanical Garden.
Adams will sign her new book from noon-2 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Bookstore on Pioneer Avenue.